Films feature faces to build community
FLASHBACKS FROM PAST AIM TO REUNITE AGES
WHEN residents became too scared to walk down the main street of a western Sydney suburb at night a group of artists decided to reveal the identities hidden behind shop facades.
A series of mini documentaries created by notfor-profit organisation Fusion has uncovered the characters of the St Marys area, in a bid to reawaken the sense of community older residents remember from decades ago.
Meet St Marys tells the stories of a number of people in the community – covering from when they first arrived in the suburb to what they think of the area now.
“It’s to introduce characters’ lives and the history of the people of St Marys to the wider public, in the hope that the more people know each other, the more there will be a sense of community,” production manager Jeff Estanislao said.
“If we know each other’s lives and are in each other’s worlds, we are kind of going to be able to get along a bit more.”
At the launch of the pro- ject in Coachmans Park on Saturday night, two dance groups of young and older people will join together to tell another story of St Marys’ past and present.
“A lot of residents from St Marys in particular feel unsafe at night, particularly vulnerable people,” creative producer David Ryan said.
“So we’re trying to do a cultural project to alleviate that in some ways. So rather than just having a talk fest we use music, dance, photography and video and bring them together in such a way it wouldn’t be a group of artists imposing on a community, it’s much the other way.
“You said you wanted to change something so come and be a part of that.”
At the launch there will also be wall projections of images going back through the history of St Marys, along with voiceovers of memories from residents.
“It’s about what it was like being a teenager back in the ’60s and ’70s, and what it’s like being a teenager today,” Mr Ryan said.
Dancers Sue Benzie, 69, Jessica Stevenson, 12, Graham Haddock, 71, Hope Camilleri, 14, Tayla Arkley, 13, and Clara Pizzi, 77, have teamed up to perform at the
Meet St Marys project launch.